Skip to main content

How Google's rumored 'Campfire' dual-boot Chromebooks may burn Microsoft

Chromebook
Chromebook (Image credit: Windows Central)

Seven years ago, Google began an assault on Windows PCs with its cloud-centric Chromebook PC alternative. Google's leveraging of a more secure, easier to manage and more affordable "PC" positioned Chromebooks for market success. Despite this success, however, Chromebooks' global market share still pales in comparison to Windows PC's seemingly indomitable presence.

Google remains committed to an unrelenting multifaceted assault on Windows PCs, in an attempt to position Chromebooks as the "PC" for the modern personal computing age. Android apps on Chrome, aggressive Chromebook ads, a strategic push in schools, Progressive Web App (PWAs) and low Chromebook prices are tools Google has and will use to make Chromebooks appealing to the masses.

Campfire, Google's rumored Windows and Chrome dual-boot solution, is just the latest, and possibly most important, tool in Google's arsenal to unseat Windows PCs as the PCs for the masses.

'Campfire' brings more than OSes together

The rumored "Campfire" code name for a solution that brings Windows and Chrome OS together on Chromebooks resonates with the concept of a real campfire that brings people together. In a twist consistent with the adage of keeping your friends close but your enemies closer, Google bringing Windows to Chromebooks is a self-serving strategy to amplify its attacks against Windows PCs.

Google's advertising onslaught outlining Chromebooks' advantages over PCs has had little meaningful impact on the PC market. Thus, getting Chromebooks into more customers' hands so they can experience Google's purported advantages is Campfire's aim. Campfire is a "Trojan Horse" strategy that'll potentially lure consumers with the Windows PCs they want on affordable hardware while also giving them the Chrome OS-based PC Google hopes they'll prefer.

Campfire is the delivery method Google may use to push its browser-based OS to the Windows PC-adoring masses. And this dual-boot system may succeed where aggressive ads have failed.

Google's coordinated Chromebook attack

Google has aggressively pushed anti-Windows-PC Chromebooks ads using taglines like:

If you're over the old way of doing things. If you wish computers were more like phones. If you want a laptop, you can count on. You Chromebook.

Besides the above commercial, which uses misleading antiquated Windows alerts and OSes, most Chromebook ads appeal to a generation of smartphone users accustomed to simple, web-based light computing.

Google's ad assaults are complemented by OS-enhancing efforts such as Android apps and Google Play on Chrome (though most Android apps are optimized for phones). Also, PWAs, Google's hybrid web-app investment, may propel its browser-based OS forward as the user experience is made to feel more native and app-like. Google may strategically be using Chrome as PWA's "vehicle," and Campfire as Chrome's "vehicle," to the masses.

Additionally, as a derivative of Chromebook dominance in education, parents seeking a consistent home-school experience are purchasing cheap Chromebooks for their children. Finally, many small businesses are bypassing Microsoft's productivity solutions as they embrace more affordable Chromebooks and Google's accompanying productivity tools.

Google's Chromebook progress has occurred in a context where customers had to choose between Windows or Chrome OS. Campfire potentially removes some competing Windows PCs from the equation since consumers, schools and businesses will get both platforms on affordable Chromebook hardware.

Campfire may burn Microsoft

PC World published a piece highlighting the fact that Chrome OS and Windows on the same Chromebook hardware could ultimately hurt the more resource-hungry Windows.

The touted advantages of a simpler, faster and smoother Chrome experience on inexpensive hardware not optimized for Windows may be exaggerated when Windows is "unfairly" assessed in a "side-by-side" on-device comparison. One can imagine users' complaints as Windows drags on such hardware as Chrome zips along "proving" Google's claims.

Campfire, if real, may prove to be Google's most effective assault on Windows PCs.

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

149 Comments
  • This highlights why Microsoft needs to push quickly to slim down Windows 10's resource demands the way they did with Windows 8. Windows Core OS has the potential to do that, but I don't see it solving these issues since the resource intense tasks like win32 support are really the only reason I could see someone wanting to install Windows on a Chrome book anyway.
  • @Hanley Gibbons Modern computers are more than fast enough to run Windows 10. I run Windows 10 on a mid-range laptop (Dell E6400) from 2008 and I often choose that laptop over much faster devices simply because it has a good screen and is fast enough to handle Windows 10 just fine. Where Google poses a challenge to Microsoft is in the Chrome department. There's a reason Chrome is now the dominant browser--it simply is better thought out than Edge. For a long while in 2017 and the first few months of 2018 I was using both Chrome and Edge at the same time TRYING to like Edge. Nowadays I've completely given up on Edge. Sure, it's better than it used to be. A LOT better. But, that still doesn't change the fact that its interface is lackluster. And, that's only the tip of the ice berg. I use a handful of programs on Windows 10 and I really don't need Windows for 98% of the tasks. When I look at my list below only Access requires Windows. Excel/PowerPoint/Word all are working in tandem with Google Docs ALREADY or can be replaced by LibreOffice (I recently tried LibreOffice and, while it has warts, it's actually quite good). Only Access is Windows only and I recently noticed that LibreOffice has Base (haven't played with it). I've got a few dozen hours of work in one database that I use twice a year, but, I've been successful at using Google Sheets to replace many of my simpler Access databases so I'm nearly tempted to migrate that one Access database In order of usage frequency:
    #1 Chrome
    #2 Chrome
    #3 Chrome
    #4 PowerPoint
    #5 Notepad++
    #6 Eclipse
    #7 Visual Studio
    #8 Word
    #9 Excel
    #10 Access
  • "There's a reason Chrome is now the dominant browser"
    - Hmmm, "browser." If people are thinking of Chrome OS in terms of Chrome the browser, Google has a problem.
  • "If people are thinking of Chrome OS in terms of Chrome the browser, Google has a problem." Really? It's the browser used by 60% of the globe. Followed by Safari at 13%. Microsoft's browsers come in at the low to very low single digits. On only the desktop its market share CLIMBS to 2/3 of all installs. That is mind blowing given that Google has NO leverage on the desktop over anyone to install Chrome. Chrome gets installed by USERS. It means that users are ACTIVELY choosing Chrome over other browsers. Google has to work very hard to make Chrome good because it has NO leverage over anyone to have an OEM install Chrome on the desktop. Edge is the default for Microsoft. Safari is the default for Apple. Of course, since Chrome is an offshoot of Apple's work there is relatively little difference between Safari and Chrome on a Mac so the incentive is low for a Mac user to switch.
  • It's not true that Google has no leverage on the desktop. Visit YouTube in a non-Chrome browser -> INSTALL THE BETTER CHROME NOW. Visit Gmail in a non-Chrome browser -> INSTALL THE BETTER CHROME NOW. Visit Google in a non-Chrome browser -> INSTALL THE BETTER CHROME NOW. Visit YouTube in a non-Chrome browser -> INSTALL THE BETTER CHROME NOW. Get a security prompt from Google -> INSTALL THE BETTER CHROME NOW. Basically, Google RAMS Chrome down everyone's throat. It really annoys me. So yes, it's not surprising that people get annoyed with so many pop-ups on the top websites in the world that they succumb to Chrome on the desktop, where they have a MASSIVE reach. The EU are not going far enough in fighting back against the monopoloy and power to influence people using the Internet that Google has.
  • Chrome is not an monopoly
    People CHOOSE to use it. People can use firefox Edge, Opera, etc but choose to use Chrome. Should McDonald's be forced to sell Whoppers cause they outsell Burger King?
  • Really not the point. The claim was people installing chrome on desktop out of nowhere, while in reality people do not need to actively search for it. Many have heard of it, and when they see a huge button and a claim of it being better, it's easy. And, google pretty much actively keeping youtube slow on other browsers give the additional impression of chrome being faster.
  • You guys realize Microsoft does the exact same thing directly in Windows. You get ads for Edge and even battery life claims when you open Chrome. The difference is experience. After using both, it is easy to see why people choose to install Chrome.
  • Something's happened lately to Chrome though... no matter how powerful the computer, it freezes and stutters when scrolling vertically, especially with multiple tabs open. Chrome has become unusable.
  • Inbox freezes for me occasionally, but otherwise I have no issues with Chrome. That might just be Inbox too.
  • Really? You too? I have experienced that too with Chrome. It's slower when I start it up. I almost exclusively use Edge because it does everything I need. I believe most use Chrome because they are sheep and just believe what they are told without trying it. There are people who choose Chrome over Edge but it is seems to many some functionally reasons and even that Edge has most main plugins that work great and navigating settings and other things in Edge is much nicer than Chrome. Plugins are a hidden option, settings aren't organized well compared to Edge. Edge looks way more appealing.
  • Some of it comes from the fact most people use Android devices with Chrome as the default browser. If they want sync they will get Chrome on PC. Of course there are other reasons as well.
  • I love how no one has commented that a windows pc running chrome is slow BECAUSE of running chrome. Chrome is so heavy these days I won't let it touch my pc, it turns well performing PC's into molasses.
  • Bingo! Trying to multi-task with it is lol worthy too unless you have a minimum of 8 GB and even then it could easily used around 6+ GB making it useless.
  • I agree. Just got a Surface Go which I am determined to keep in S mode, so have moved to Edge on all of my pcs to see what it is like now. I am sticking with it rather than giving up at the first unfamiliar thing. So far, it's fine (apart as others have mentioned, the nagging you get from Google to use Chrome) and I see no reason to go back. I know Chrome has far more extensions etc, but for me Edge seems to be just fine.
  • Switch to Duckduckgo it's better than you might think. I've been using it for over a year and almost never need to do a google search to find something it can't.
  • Yes! Went back to MS browser from Chrome, although I'm still still not sure MS isn't sabotaging something.
    The perfect solution would be running Windows inside virtual software in Chrome, rather than the multiboot option though.
  • Firefox guy said YouTube run slow on Firefox and Edge, intentionally.
    That's one leverage I think.
  • There is a fix for that. It's an article here. I did it, and it worked. thetube is fast on my edge browser now.
  • It's quite a cunning approach from Google. Personally I can't see the difference on my connection though if you have slower Internet speed it may be quite big.
  • 60% of the globe don't have computers lol
  • Precisely. I ran Windows 10 just fine on my 2011-era AMD A6-4400m laptop. Now with a Ryzen 2500U it flies and is not necessarily resource-intensive...the key is adding a SSD drive.
  • I run it on my 2008 era acer 7720 17". I put the ram at 8gb, added a small SSD for the OS and it skips along just fine. I had driver issues first, but they are all sorted out too now. I am typing this on my dell inspiron 13 5000 2 in 1 with the basic Pentium processor. It's fast. No lagging anywhere on it. w10 is not a resource hog. Those days have gone with XP.
  • Libre office has an access equivalent but I forget the name. Is quite as good too.
  • "quickly to slim down Windows 10's resource demands the way they did with Windows 8." - You literally have no clue what you're talking about.
  • He often has pieces with great insight but also with some odd statements. This is one of those. Windows 10 is amazingly slimmed down. Unfortunately, it's not the technical side that's holding it back but the policy side. Software as a service is not a pleasant experience. I LIKED using Windows 7. I even liked using Windows 8.1 (to a limited extent). Windows 10 has left me cold. I spent so much time (some of it unsuccessfully) rooting out Microsoft's closed software ecosystem. For example, Cortana is forced on you. No way around it. Same with the games Microsoft plays with browsers. They have BANNED browsers from the Windows Store! This blatantly harms end users. Paradoxically, it's also harmed their own Windows app store. Because people cannot get Chrome (or FireFox) from the Windows Store there is absolutely no reason for Windows users to go to the Windows Store. And, even during the brief period that Microsoft tried to force their dystopian version of the desktop future on users through Windows 10 S(ucks) more people were worried about not being able to run Chrome than they were about getting access to a cheaper laptop because Windows 10 S was the cheap version of Windows. Ever since Microsoft lost the battle for the mobile OS space they've been flailing. Windows 10 is more dominant than ever, but, paradoxically it's also made Windows vulnerable to disruption on the desktop. That's why Google is ramping up the competition with ChromeOS. I've never thought ChromeOS was ready to take over the desktop space. I still don't. But, I can be convinced. Because of the ubiquity of Chrome I've seen my own work behaviour change to include much more online work. Google Drive figures heavily now into my daily routine where even last year I would ignore it for months.
  • no OS will kill windows until there are more Hames on that OS.
    ChromeOS isn't made to play games and will only be like Apple back in the day. Good for educational use.
    Gamers will buy a X86 PC and hipsters will buy a mac
  • Good for educations...
    "oh? my baby boy/girl self taught himself/herself how to use a "computer"? He/she's genius!!"
    If a freshman graduate with 0 PC skills, only knows iOS, Android or Chrome OS, thinking those are the "computer" we use in the work environment...
    He or she will have a hard time looking for job that can earn her 3k~10k+ a month tbh.
  • You don't have to use Cortana on windows 10. In fact, when setting up Windows or a new PC, it's one of the first things it asks you. On my work laptop Cortana isn't setup and has no permissions.
  • This sounds like a rant, you don't have to use cortana. You can disable it all and even with ohshutup10 or regedit or services etc you disable all telemetry, cannot say the same for android and ios. Even just changing the privacy settings in Settings disables a lot and makes it anoymous.
    The reason why the chrome browser was removed from the store was because it was a crappy weblink install or something like that. And Chrome and Firefox are legacy apps, not efficient battery wise (coming from a firefox user). You can still install firefox etc outside the store so I don't see the problem. If they change that it would be a problem but they won't (why would they? they would lose more than they would gain).
  • Mind the tinfoil hat there...
  • Have you heard Dan and Zac tacky about this? It seems that you are mistaken or misunderstand this.
    Forced Cortana on us? Yes, like every other OS that has forced theirs, Apple and Siri, Google and Google Assistant (if that's it mange still).
    Blocked other browers in the Store, mistaken again. Blocked other browser engines in the Store, like every OS Store. Edge on iOS uses a Safari Engine, Edge on Android uses the Chrome Engine.
  • Meh people don't want less power, that's why chromeos doesn't have market share. Don't copy a failing strategy imo. Focus on bringing power over to windows core
  • Won't change my view on google > into campfire :P
  • It depends on what will happen with WinCoreOS... because if google now launch Chromebooks with campfire and then MS makes available a Windows 10 with improved performance I think people have no doubt about what to open on Chromebooks...
  • True ..I agree
  • Windows Phone eventually needed to go, but had MS not been so quick to abandon it, and stuck with it until they had a better replacement, they would have more pull, and respect, in the market.. WP8.1 was really good, and apps were coming in. Had MS kept the momentum, and relationships, that Nokia started, WP would be in an even better situation 4 years later. It still would be behind, but MS would at least have a competent solution for mobile. IMO, not having a mobile solution hurts other aspects of the business, and perception.... Until MS has more of what people need there will always be a burning sensation... SMDH
  • I agree with you about Windows Phone, but don't see the relevance on an article about running Windows on Chromebooks.
  • Have you forgotten Continuum for Windows 10 Mobile?
  • It's relevant because of this... Samsungs popularity in mobile has influenced millions to also buy a Samsung TV, washer dryer, microwave, and most relative, a Samsung laptop/PC..... Samsung pretty much needs Google more than they do MS.... That's how its relative. When WP had some PC/WP compatibilities, and Cortana shined on WP, that was an advantage between the two. In 2018 MS has to relly on mobile to keep Windows relevant on every platform it supports. To not have Windows on the most uses device, by billions of people around the world everyday, doesn't help the Windows name, or relevance, more than it hurts it.
  • I believe you have the proper perspective. Before Microsoft abandoned WP it should have had a replacement. Creating a space and then leaving a hole behind, nature abhorrs a vacuum, and something is going to fill it..
  • And with all the scroogle things google is doing with customer data, I wonder how many users wish they had another option for mobile besides the close iOS or the scroogle will steal all your data OS options that exist now?
  • 3.5% at most (Windows phone peak market share).
  • Are you kidding? EVERYTHING is about Nadella's messed up decision on mobile. Rodney is right. MS lost it's self-"respect" the day Nadella killed mobile, without a proper alternative. Nadella is the safest... and... WORST thing that ever happened to Microsoft... and all the while the BEST thing that ever happened to Google. Who can blame Google for cashing in on the purest form of weakness that is Nadella?
  • What alternative could they released in 2015? They had nothing ready and the market was decided. It would take a revolutionary product and Microsoft certainly doesn't have one ready to go.
  • Microsoft was just too far behind on mobile apps, not to mention that Windows 10 Mobile wasn't 32-bit and Microsoft had no plans to make it 64-bit. Android and iOS were way ahead in apps and core tech. Oh yeah and the sales were abysmal and carriers were refusing to sell W10M devices in showrooms. TBH I'm surprised Microsoft pushed forward in mobile at all beyond 2010. It was quite obvious they were beaten that far back.
  • But why did they not just invest less in Windows Phone while still keep it alive a bit? Just bring out a few updates and a few devices a year and that is it. Now with no WP there is less incentive for devs to develop windows store / uwp apps and the transition to windows arm devices will be less smooth.
  • It doesn't matter... High level apps were still coming in every day. WP hardware was terrific, and although moving at a snails pace WP was on the incline. Developer support was better than it was today, and that support could have carried over to devices like Andromeda. Now what?
  • The carriers were burned enough by MS and the fact that windows 10 mobile was released in the worse beta stage ever possible, contributed to their denial to sell such devices. When a company starts to sell some devices running a broken beta OS while lying that is public ready and business ready, it should not expect any mobile carrier to even think of supporting it.
  • Yeah agree with this. I think Microsoft do most things better now but they let WP fall to soon. I still don't understand why they just did not lower the priority/budget of WP. If only to let developers continue to make (more) uwp apps for smoother transition to ARM windows devices etc.
  • Will give a bad impression of Windows for the 0.01% of the people that use Chromebooks, I don't see that as a threat. Might even convince them that Windows is more useful and they should buy a real Windows machine instead of running it on a Chromebook.
  • It will probably do the opposite.
  • I love my Surface Book, so much that I convince my mom to use a Pro (she is an illustrator), and now I want to get a Surface Laptop for my wife, but when considering her use case and habits, I also considered a Pixelbook, but we ended up agreeing that having Windows and hardware compatibility in our house was a better benefit... BUT now with campfire, the pixelbook is back on the table, and this is what will happen for many people considering their options, even for loyal Microsoft users
  • Do not!! select a PixelBook on the rumor that someday it might run Windows, in some fashion with some degree of reasonable functionality. If a device doesn't do what you need it to do when you buy it, it is the wrong device. Not denigrating the PixelBook. Have one, outstanding device. Don't depend on what might happen.
  • Yep, totally agreed.
  • Maybe this isn't so bad overall, Windows users finally get cheeper always connected devices. On the other hand, MS may realize, abandoning phones isn't such a good idea, they thought.
  • If it has Windows on it -- it's a Windows PC.
  • So the MacBooks are Windows PCs?
  • No, they are just ****.
  • If Apple starts selling them with Windows installed they will be.
  • They will be better....ftfy. macOS is garbage. Actually, the Mac hardware is garbage at this point too since it does not have touch or pencil support. Old tach devices.
  • And how does windows 10 having touch support benefit you with that absolute mediocre tablet mode? I don't argue having pen support on a PC large screen is good or bad, but without a proper touch UI,UX and touch optimized apps, such feature is useless.
  • Every device running Windows 10 represents a Windows license sale of some sort.
  • Yes, once you put Windows on it, it is by definition a Windows Personal Computer. It is also a MacOS PC and you could load Linux on it if you wanted. What do you think makes a PC a Windows PC?
  • Having Windows on it?
  • First, wouldn't Microsoft have to agree to allow Windows to be put on a Chromebook? I don't see Microsoft agreeing to this. There are still licensing issues here I would imagine. Google is taking from the old playbook that Apple used against Microsoft (PC vs Mac). Microsoft needs to wake up before it is too late. They have SO much potential, but it like they are almost afraid to fail so they just become stagnant.
  • rstough: I agree Microsoft needs a(nother) wake-up call.
    In the meantime, this means another Windows license they sell--I'm sure they'll take the money.
  • And surely MS would make sure if they are selling that licence, it is on a hardware compatible device, that is a minimum spec
  • I know it isn't the same thing, but Apple had Bootcamp and it didn't move the needle significantly of people buying MacBooks. That felt more like a surrender than an attack. I see this continuing the assault Google is waging, but it feels like it's a little better than the assault of the Somali pirates against the US Navy.
  • !!!! FINALLY SOMEONE ELSE WITH SOME TECH HISTORY KNOWLEDGE, WOW.
  • Google isn't a bunch of Somali pirates. They are the "China" of technology. They are the future rulers of the world, no mistake about it.
  • "wouldn't Microsoft have to agree to allow Windows to be put on a Chromebook?"
    - No, because the entire point of Windows is the ability to run on arbitrary compatible x86 hardware. As a matter of fact, this is something Windows is better at than any other OS in existence, period. Also, it means more license sales for Microsoft. Windows 10 on Chromebooks won't be free, a point many people seem to be forgetting.
  • For sure. And a standalone Windows License for installing on a Chromebook is a lot more expensive than the license that comes bundled in with a laptop.
  • No, MS wouldn't need to agree. I buy a copy of Windows and I can install it on what I want. And, yes, you need to buy a copy of Windows to do this. Probably costs close to as much as that cheap chromebook you want to put it on.
  • If you aren't going to use Windows often, just occasionally when you need to, I don't think you need to buy a license. It will still install and work but you get messages about it being un-activated.
  • This is correct.
  • You can't stop an install AFTER purchase, but you can stop them selling devices already set up as dual boot. And they should-chrome is tiny, Windows is huge, that would only benefit google. I think this will be more like bootcamp-you won't get both OSes out of the box.
  • Maybe this is an opportunity here....... Ms can allow Windows on Chromebooks, if Google allows Playstore Android apps on Windows - I smell a licensing agreement in the works, which would be the best case scenario for the consumer......... Too bad it will never happen.
  • Microsoft should do what google does and just dont let it run on thier hardware
  • indeed, let em thugs have a taste of their own medicine and we'll see how they like that.
  • Nope, Microsoft isn't stupid. It's Google who're painting themselves into a corner by not allowing Chrome OS to run on arbitrary compatible hardware.
  • Agreed, chrome is tiny, Windows is huge, there's no benefit for Microsoft. Let prosumers install after purchase and deny them license to sell as dual boot. No need to let chrome ride coattails
  • :)) and you think Google will run away crying because bad ol' Microsoft refuses to allow Windows on their Chromebooks? On what planet do you live on?
  • Current Windows 10 users still have to buy those Chromebooks first. Why would they do that? If they would have been interested in Chrome OS they would have investigated already. The type of opportunistic user that is drawn by a offer like this does not has the endurance to follow up on investigating and liking the Chrome OS. Moreover the dislike of a totally web oriented OS does not change with this. People that do not have a problem with this web orientation probably are gone already from Windows and are no factor in this attempt. So calling this a dangerous thread I read as a lack of trust in the current capabilities of the Windows OS and in what Microsoft is still having up its sleeve. In this the earlier is more important than the latter for bying a 2 in 1 Chromebook. Instead of a thread I would call this a desperate attempt to receive some recognition the Chrome OS has not been able to receive yet.
  • Chrome OS has actually received a TON of recognition in recent years as it's become more capable. And I agree that most people who've converted to Chrome OS have already completely left Windows, but for a lot of people, including me, having Windows capabilities would make a Chromebook even more attractive. I prefer the speed, security, and simplicity of Chrome, as well as its seamless relationship with Android phones, but some of what I do for work can only be done using MS Office suite. The same applies to any person who needs specialized software (which I generally don't). Those people are forced to choose Windows (or Mac) over the simpler and more secure Chrome. But with Campfire, you get both. Google can market Chromebooks as the computer for pretty much everyone.
  • Yes. I actually stand with your idea. Campfire is a Trojan horse. But as you said 7 years of losing sleeps behind it. Let's brighten things. Simple explanation. Campfire to chromebook is Windows mobile 10 to Windows phone 8. As much as I hate to say it, Microsoft just waisted money on a lost cause and it was forced to abandon it. The same thing goes for Chromebooks. The difference is Chromebooks badly suffer from poor quality, low performance, bad OS structure and being relatively useless. On top of all that they are billions of years late to the market. Windows could rule the world if it came just 3 or 4 years sooner. And let's be honest, you are on Google's platform until you are a child or jobless or you have lots of free time on your hands. You move from android to a Windows or sometimes Mac desktop, you move from Gmail to outlook or exchange, you move from a tablet to a two in one, or from a simple google VR HMD to HoloLens. Google does not have the elite consumer mind share and is doing too little to earn it. People know Google as the company that doesn't bring down walls but rather add something relatively needless or not extremely needed to our lives that can help us spend the time we normally don't use. YouTube is an example.
  • Well we all know that scroogle is nothing but an advertising company and a rather unscrupulous one at that. They will try and do whatever sleazy thing they can to try and take down Microsoft on the desktop. Most likely they will fail because everyone sees what a slime ball company they are.
  • Everyone :)))) more like every MS delusional fanboy. There ya' go. Fixed it for ya'
  • This addresses a major Achilles heel in the ChromeOS world--dual boot. What's always dissuaded me from EVERY considering a ChromeBook is that it's confined to a single OS. What Google should have done a LONG time ago is brought ChromeOS to the generic PC. My experience on that front has been with Neverware's Cloudready which is a repackaging of the open source portions of ChromeOS for generic PCs. Dual boot is not an easy feat with Cloudready, supported only on certain devices. Google should make ChromeOS a direct competitor to Windows ON THE SAME HARDWARE. I'd gladly dual-boot ChromeOS with Windows. Keep Windows for those times I need heavy lifting, but, for 90% of my tasks ChromeOS is more than sufficient. It would be that foot-in-the-door that would help ChromeOS go from the OS that runs those crippled devices (that can't run Windows) to mainstream OS. Microsoft's Windows division should be worried. ChromeOS is a direct competitor. Android is where much of people's computing happens. They need a laptop/desktop primarily for watching videos on a larger screen or a keyboard. ChromeOS is more than capable of meeting 95% of people's needs 99% of the time. It's only the luddites like me who need a more full-fledged computing device that runs on Linux or Windows or macOS and EVEN THOSE DAYS ARE NUMBERED. I do a far greater percentage of my PROFESSIONAL work through Google Drive nowadays. Sheets has surpassed Microsoft Excel in many respects and the presentations are as good as PowerPoint. The major weakness is Word vs. Google Docs. Google Docs is GREAT for simple, shared and collaborative work but not great for complicated word processing layout.
  • "Google should have done a LONG time ago is brought ChromeOS to the generic PC"
    - Exactly. The only problem with that is doing so requires strong hardware partnerships, which Google are notoriously bad at.
  • People typically want more capability, even if they don't use it often. They only take the compromise of less because a phone is a casual use device. Even then most people could genuinely use a feature phone for the same things further demonstrating consumers want more capability than they generally need. The whole theory of 'its all people need' doesn't entirely match reality. Easy to use, sure. Limited in functionality? Not so much. You could probably sell a computer that doubles as a particle accelerator.
  • Your dreaming if you think Sheets is anything close to being a competitor in the professional world. Same for any office software. If all you do is write memos, and sum charts, sure it's acceptable, but running financial models, pivot tables, macros, etc. using Google Docs is a recipe for failure. Same goes for any professional that is any type of Engineer, Architect, or similar......... The professional software used will never be on a Chromebook. As a matter of fact, many of my Architect friends that had or have Macbooks have to run Windows on it in order to use the software of choice, which would be a similar concept to a Chromebook running Windows.
  • Jason, you've fed my great dislike of Google. I recognise they aren't the only tech company gathering info on us, but they are the most adept at info collection and putting it to use. The more inroads it makes in the marketplace, the longer its reach.
  • Boot Camp is a genuine threat, Campfire not so much. Macs are desktop specced and can run Windows desktop apps. Buyers get a lot of time in front of Mac OS while still being able to use their key Windows desktop apps, and may grow to like Mac OS to the point they may choose to switch completely. But if Chromebooks running Campfire are underspecced for Windows, it may get the blogosphere twittering the usual about how much Windows sucks, but most people will either stick to Windows - because they need it - or they'll get a rude shock when Windows crawls on their Chromebook and demand their money back, then go back to a Windows-capable device.
  • "Buyers get a lot of time in front of Mac OS while still being able to use their key Windows desktop apps, and may grow to like Mac OS"
    - Anyone who's already spent the money buying Apple's overprice hardware already likes macOS. Putting Windows on Macs doesn't change that.
  • A dual boot Chromebook with full working Linux makes so much more sense to me. The hacks to get a Chromebook running Linux aren't worth the effort.
  • You can already install Linux on Chromebooks via GalliumOS and a few other projects.
  • To me it looks like google couldn't hold his customers with its chrome os and now are trying to attract more people by saying: "Hey, buy a chromebook, it runs Windows now". There is no threat, just google's defeat.
  • Pretty much. Chrome OS is literally riding on Google's coattails. In reality it's barely a blip on the radar.
  • Microsoft should have kept W10M alive until it had something better and continued to develop its own ecosystem.
    One day, will we be telling Cortana to ask Alexa whatever happened to Windows ?
  • People have been calling Windows dead for 2 decades now. Nothing's changed.
  • This is very exciting news. Instead of buying a Surface Go, I can load Windows on my Pixelbook.
  • Why? Those serve different purposes. If you can afford a PixelBook, you can afford a Surface Pro or Surface Laptop, which are comparable hardware. If you needed Windows, why not just buy it in the first place.
  • Why not just use Windows? Who needs Google crap?
  • Those fed up with microcrap's junk quality products tested by insiders and their failures.
  • Recently a client gave me an HP Chromebook. I was excited to try it out. All I needed it todo was surf the net and use an item manager for one of my video games. It never stopped crashing and I just power washed it. The chromebook is a non issue against a fully working laptop or even a good tablet. After being approached by MS 2 years ago to become an app developer for WP, and having the program pulled within two months of joining, Microsoft gave up a potentially lucrative avenue. If there was a mobile tablet, running the WP mobile OS, it would have been a hit. Chromebooks suffer from the fact that Google is shoehorning a browser into an operating system, and trying to grab a share of the tablet market and find a space between tablets, mobile devices and laptop computers. After my personal Chromebook experience, and it’s heading to eBay in a few hours, I’m not sold or convinced that a crappy Chromebook can damage any part of the world’s most installed operating system.
  • "It never stopped crashing"
    - It's amazing how often crashing comes up in Chromebook reviews. "Chromebooks suffer from the fact that Google is shoehorning a browser into an operating system"
    - More like vice versa: shoehorning an OS into a browser. Chrome OS is a science project that runs on the Linux kernel masquerading as an actual product.
  • I often listen to Clark Howard who is a big Chromebook salesman. He says how great a deal you can get on Chromebooks, but when you look online, most of those are refurb units. So what does that say about Chromebooks! Maybe one day they'll be usable, but until they can be disconnected from Google, they are not for me.
  • "I’m not sold or convinced that a crappy Chromebook can damage any part of the world’s most installed operating system." Um, the world's most installed operating system is now Android.
  • After Google pulled so many stunts with YouTube on Windows Mobile it will be a COLD DAY IN HELL before I ever use their products. Their business role is to sell you data and that's where they make money. I will NEVER TRUST GOOGLE ever! Can you count on them to make Windows 10 run like crap on their OS, I bet you can...
  • This is a nonsensical take, if only because this exact same thing has happened before. Apple released Boot Camp in 2006, back in the days of Windows XP in which Windows was arguably behind OS X in everything but app support and market share. XP was followed by the PR disaster that was Vista, then Windows 7 (which most people liked,) the much maligned Windows 8.*, and Windows 10. By the logic of this article, everyone should have switched to Chrome OS because Boot Camp allowed Macs to run Windows. In reality, that never happened. First of all, anyone who buys a Chromebook has already joined the ChromeOS ecosystem. Secondly, Windows 10 isn't free to use. Every installation will require a paid license, with the revenue going to Microsoft. I'm not sure what kind of mental gymnastics are necessary to think you can defeat a competitor by buying more of their product ("Drown them with cash, lads!") but hey. Also, if Chromebooks don't run Windows well, Google risks users blaming *them* for that, and not Microsoft. PC repair shops will just tell consumers that their problems are due to Windows not running on a "real PC."
  • I LOVE Bootcamp. I won a mid-2010 MBP in late 2010, and installed BC and Win7 on it, never looked back. Still have it, was my daily system until last month, I ran Win 7 about 99% of the time. That said, I like playing with systems, so will probably Hackintosh something soon enough...
  • I have been dual booting for quite a while. Only use Windows when I have to. The rest of the time I boot off a USB thumb drive with chrome os. Machine boots faster and runs faster on chrome. Sounds like a great idea to me. I find chrome very stable, no crashes. So that person who had one crash all the time, not sure what you were doing or if you had defective hardware.
  • No need for Scroogle crap on my REAL computer!!
  • another scroogel shi.... nothing more!
  • "If you wish computers were more like phones" This says it all. THIS is why Google is RUINING Chrome with added whitespace everywhere, wasting precious screen space to make computers more like phones. The current Bookmark Manager, which you can no longer edit with Flags to decrease spacing, is atrocious. I now see nearly HALF the bookmarks than I did in the previous version. All in a plan to make the computer screen look more like your phone. IDIOTS. I WANT PHONES MORE LIKE COMPUTERS. Larger screens, more available on the screen without scrolling, more RAM, etc.
  • Duel booting is a pain. It is not something you will do frequently and is not really that practical. What I think is important is which OS boots up by default (meaning which one comes up if you don't touch anything). Hopefully Windows 10 will be the default. If a user really wants to run Android apps on the PC via Chrome OS, then they probably should just buy a Chromebook without the duel boot option.
  • Oh, and I wanted to add, Windows 10 is not slow. I write very intensive software that cross-compiles to Linux. I would think Linux also has that reputation of being lean and fast. Well, the software I write runs pretty much the same on Linux. There are some things that can bog Windows down. If it is doing some background tasks and you have a slow (e.g. 5400 RPM) hard drive, you will see some stuttering occasionally. But what I have found to be the biggest bottle neck on performance has been Norton's Internet Security. This need for security is an overhead. I recently uninstalled Norton's Internet Security and now just use Windows Defender. I was blown away at the performance boost. It was like I got a new computer. It is pretty scary how much of a resource hog Norton is. We should really understand where disk access and cycles are going before we say Windows 10 is slow and ChromeOS is lean.
  • That picture of Nadella is too true! What a *****-cat. An absolute milk-toast. He's ruined everything cool about Microsoft.
  • Why??
    You are still buying Windows right? And why pay twice? Once for chrome and then for windows. When you can just buy windows machine and slap it with chrome. Chromebook still cannot run legacy win32 apps. You still need to load windows for it. And remember chromebook were supposed to be light? Apart from pixelbook there are hardly and devices with enough horse power in terms of space and computing power to run windows. Ya it may tempt people to buy pixel book .. which other wise is way too costly. Its much better to pay for surface book or macbook in what it asks for pixel book ($999).
  • Chrome OS is free. Manufacturers don't have to pay for a license like they do for Windows. That's why their devices are generally cheaper spec for spec. So people aren't paying twice. But some people will be saving a lot of money buying a Chromebook, and then getting a cheap eBay Windows license. Plus unlock the Windows version of Chrome, Chrome OS can natively run Linux and Android apps. Also right now there are many premium style Chromebooks (all metal, USB C charging, 2in1, lightweights) in the $400-$600 price range right now. The only thing they are missing compared to $900-$1200 similar Windows devices, is storage. But storage is dirt cheap right now. I just bought a 128gb SSD for $25, and a 200gb micro SD card for $50. Samsung also has tiny USB 3.1 flash drives, 128gb $30, 256gb $65.
  • The real burn is going to come when people start buying Chromebooks and using them with $10 eBay Windows licenses.
  • All the more reason why MS should have NEVER abandoned mobile. They should have stayed the course no matter the cost until such time as they had a reasonable market share. They've retired from the fight and are now getting kicked in the head climbing out of the ring by a far more clever and proactive company.
  • if you want literally any usable performance on windows no one will buy these. chromebooks are low spec pieces of **** and windows wont be an enjoyable experience on them. this shouldnt be a concern for microsoft at all
  • Could not agree more with you Jaso, this time (surprise, surprise). Your line about folks wanting a more phone-like experience, I'm paraphrasing here, is something I have commented on ad nauseum when thinking about the way Nadella killed off phones. Sure, I get the Launcher approach but it's just another level of complexity that we have to endure to get a windows experience when, really, joe consumer doesn't give a fig about that. Joe consumer just wants the same experience from phone to tablet to laptop to desktop straight out of the box without buggerising about loading some Launcher thingy.
  • I dont want ANY Google crap on my REAL computer!!
  • If chromebook becomes more successful, it would also means the end of. NET.. First we loose mobile W10M. Second, we soon to loose Xamarin due to Flutter and Dart, Next, if we loose laptop, we surrenders completely to Java only enterprise applications.. Layer by layer.. the Microsoft ecosystem is being peeled off. Microsoft needs to bring the advantage of new kid on the block Flutter to Xamarin without delay.. I have seen more and more die hard Xamarin leaving for Flutter... Loosing Xamarin diehards means the beginning to a faster death of the whole Microsoft mobile ecosystem
  • 1. MS's mobile ecosystem is dead already. You can thank Nutella for that
    2. Xamarin die-hards leave for Flutter/Dart because of reasons. Flutter is just a baby and it became better than Xamarin :))) now that's something embarrassing for Microsoon isn't it? There was enough proof that devs do not give a damn about MS's Xamarin tool, and now, their flee to the other side is yet another one.
  • You guys are missing the obvious. If Google puts Windows on Chromebooks they are admitting ChromeOS isn’t enough. You need windows too. I think Microsoft would love this. They sell a copy of Windows and ChromeOS admits it’s not windows. I would seriously have to ask myself why buy a chrome book with windows when I can buy just a windows machine at that point?
  • Perhaps, but I think most consumers (and schools in europe etc) would buy it because it has windows but eventually use chromeOs because e.g. booting to chromeOs is the first/top option and windows the 2nd. It sounds ridiculous but I do think the world is like that.
  • Once it is possible to get a device which runs both Android and Windows 10, no one will want to buy a device that only does one. Which means Microsoft with its Surface line and other vendors producing Windows 10 devices will need to put Android on them so they can sell them. It then becomes a hard fight between the operating systems. This will force Microsoft to do something to improve the update process. But something else it can do is fight back by providing an Android emulation app WITHIN Windows 10 so that it is possible to run Android WITHOUT SWITCHING back and forth between the two operating systems. Android could retaliate with a Wine implementation perhaps, but it would pale compared to real Windows 10. So I hope Microsoft are working with Android emulator vendors to build in a captive Android emulation (and the key word there is CAPTIVE, ie capture Android and bring it to heel).
  • Worked at a client site a few weeks back where people were using these things to remote in to a terminal server. It was a horrid experience to say the least.
  • Having worked for decades on various implementations of client-server to save money, make licensing possible, etc. having a real computer that can actually do a majority of the work by itself and/or just synch with the home ship is a tremendous quality of work issue. Really tired of these 'theories' of how things should work being foisted on the workers by people wo never have to suffer the consequences.
  • Here's the deal: You want a computer that runs everything, kills every bird with one stone. Microsoft is probably in the best position to do it. It can add an Android subsystem and a Unix subsystem. It already supports Unix command lines, it just needs to expand that to GUIs too. In other words, Windows 10 should become an Omnivorous Operating System, one that can eat any ecosystem, and run any app. If it can do that, it can beat Google at their game. It can become the one OS that you can rely on to run your app, any app. I have just been playing with BlueStacks, which works, though it is mainly aimed at gaming. It would not run my banking apps, they hung, not sure why. But I am sure it is not beyond the wit of Microsoft to do a BlueStacks equivalent that, instead of running Android apps within a frame window, lets them run on the desktop like any other app. And the same with Unix. Yes this lets in the competition, but you become the only game in town, because you are the only sure bet, the only thing that will run anything and everything. And it's something neither Google nor Apple can beat you at, because they haven't a hope of running Windows 10 in emulation. But as Apple is built on Unix, Microsoft can get its tanks on Apple's lawn by supporting Unix apps within Windows 10. What this amounts to is another variant on Microsoft Everywhere. AND if you become the only game in town, there is no longer a reason NOT to write apps specifically for Windows 10.
  • Most android apps need play services and thus android. Certainly MSFT could make an emulation environment, or use the lesser amazon store, but that's shooting vital UWP in the foot
  • UWP is already a zombie so, such move, would not matter, not even the slightest.
  • Why would I write an app for Windows if it wouldn't work on Android either way.
  • I think campfire's main goal would be to lure more developers in buying chromebooks/pixelbooks to develop/test/compile quickly for several OS's. If you control developers, you control app development for your OS's (like apps with a desktop ui for pixelbooks which they need to compete with win10).
  • I disagree with the author mainly because running Windows on Intel Celeron processors is lol worthy which is most of Chromebooks right now in the market. Also if computers start being sold with Windows 10 and Chromebooks doesn't that up the price? Even if the user decide to install it later that will up the price by a lot.
  • If I was mfst I'd just deny them licences to sell the devices with windows on it. Perfectly with their right
  • MS is not in the position of denying things...:)) really now :))
  • "Besides the above commercial, which uses misleading antiquated Windows alerts and OSes, " I would say this is not misleading at all if they are going after people using older computers that are ready to upgrade and might be lured into a Chromebook. If you have a Windows 10 PC already it's not that old yet. Why would they show Win 10 trying to sell people upgrading their daily driver a ChromeOS device.
  • Is it that big of a deal if someone is running windows on a Dell or a chromebook? Does microsoft really care if you get a PC with windows preinstalled or have to pay for a license on a chromebook? I just see this a another way for people to use windows.
  • I think we are missing the reason MS is the king atm. Large businesses will never buy a chromebook as the hardware is comparable to the early 2000s and the single biggest reason is HIPAA and other regulations that require a client/server infrastructure. In a world where the scary hackers are getting better the regulations will only be more strict. No other OS can do it right. MS is also ramping up to sell windows for a monthly cost with the Office Suite bundled so the cost is not much for a user to purchase for their chromebook. It will work in MS favor as people will see side by side that you get what you pay for. Education institutions also require a domain. The only way chromebooks will have a nitch is if they integrate with O365.
  • I use a real computer (Surface), not a toy (Chromebook). Any school using Chrome books is doing their students a disservice, like schools that hand out MacBook toys to business students. This is just more crap from Scroogal.
  • Better than that winjunk 10 crap tested by guinea pig insiders. Schools use Chromebooks because of price, among other things. Schools handing over Macbooks are doing a very good service to those students that can learn both ios and android development which can bring them more money than messing with Microcrap's UWP and failed platform...besides having an OS that they won't have to reinstall after each buggy update.
  • After google now shown their colors by banning people I'm staying away from as many google things I can. Shame about the phone, but cortana works fine as an assistant. Browsers? Vivaldi, and Tor
  • Are Chromebooks still a thing? I've know people who've once owned a Chromebook but have since upgraded to a laptop. Who wants to pay up to $500 for a Chromebook when you can get a full fledged laptop for the same price? A full laptop has way better performance.
  • Popcorn taken out from the microwave oven and the coke Zero Sugar can opened. Now let the fight start. Written on my Windows 10 Pro Ryzen 5 machine in a Google Chrome browser.... And... I have jumped to Android Oreo 8.1 from windows 10 mobile... Hi hi ha ha... biig deal...